Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby linguoboy » 2011-05-13, 21:12

hashi wrote:I did give you an explanation outside of "its purty"

I already acknowledged this:
linguoboy wrote:FWIW, more often than not, when I ask about such features, I don't get interesting explanations like the one you just gave.


hashi wrote:which is why I still fail to see why you think its uninteresting despite you saying anything other than that is. Make up your mind?

Make up my mind about what? You're so fixated on this one specific case that you're not even seeing what I've written and what I haven't.
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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby hashi » 2011-05-13, 21:33

linguoboy wrote:
hashi wrote:I did give you an explanation outside of "its purty"

I already acknowledged this:
linguoboy wrote:FWIW, more often than not, when I ask about such features, I don't get interesting explanations like the one you just gave.


hashi wrote:which is why I still fail to see why you think its uninteresting despite you saying anything other than that is. Make up your mind?

Make up my mind about what? You're so fixated on this one specific case that you're not even seeing what I've written and what I haven't.


I have, but I don't feel they all need to be addressed. Ok, I read the "as the one you just gave" as one of the uninteresting explanation, sorry :)

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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby loqu » 2011-07-06, 16:39

hashi wrote:[*] "My language is like.. what happens if Spanish is raped up the ass by French", cause these are the only languages in existence you can take ideas from. Romlangs are not cool.


Wow, I just read that! You're mean. :P

*gets back to romlanging*
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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby Rockoff » 2011-07-07, 22:17

Do you guys think it's a mistake to attempt conlanging if you're only fluent in one language? I'm learning two but I'm not there yet and my first attempt at conlanging failed horribly before I even considered putting it here, I do feel like I know a lot more about languages now but perhaps I should hold off for a bit. It takes a lot of time and dedication to create an entire language and I want it to be as good as possible.
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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby razlem » 2011-07-07, 22:30

Rockoff wrote:Do you guys think it's a mistake to attempt conlanging if you're only fluent in one language? I'm learning two but I'm not there yet and my first attempt at conlanging failed horribly before I even considered putting it here, I do feel like I know a lot more about languages now but perhaps I should hold off for a bit. It takes a lot of time and dedication to create an entire language and I want it to be as good as possible.


I'm only fluent in English, and I manage to get by (granted, it took a few tries to get out of the English mindset). Also, there's no such thing as a "good" or "bad" language. It is what you want it to be.

If you have questions about conlanging/linguistics the users here would be happy to help :)
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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby Rockoff » 2011-07-07, 22:39

I have a question on my mind that is relevant to the first point in this thread. How many phonemes is too many? I want to have a variety but I agree that going overboard is not a good thing.
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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby hashi » 2011-07-07, 23:14

Rockoff wrote:I have a question on my mind that is relevant to the first point in this thread. How many phonemes is too many? I want to have a variety but I agree that going overboard is not a good thing.


I would say all of them is too many, or so many that you run out of graphemes to represent them. The main reason for this is it is simply too difficult (particularly for any native of English) to possibly distinguish all of these sounds, and they'd probably end up merging with each other anyway.

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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby Rockoff » 2011-07-08, 5:11

Of course I wouldn't have all of them haha. I've started to make a phonology and orthography for a possible conlang, I'm going to end up with several phonemes for one letter. It will change depending on the combination of letters, and I also don't like diacritics and try to keep to the basic Latin alphabet. I'm wondering if I'll end up with too many phonemes but the reason is I think that fricatives sound good but I need to balance them out with other kinds of sounds.
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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby hashi » 2011-07-08, 5:31

Rockoff wrote:Of course I wouldn't have all of them haha. I've started to make a phonology and orthography for a possible conlang, I'm going to end up with several phonemes for one letter. It will change depending on the combination of letters, and I also don't like diacritics and try to keep to the basic Latin alphabet. I'm wondering if I'll end up with too many phonemes but the reason is I think that fricatives sound good but I need to balance them out with other kinds of sounds.


It sounds fine ;)

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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby linguoboy » 2011-07-08, 15:02

Rockoff wrote:Do you guys think it's a mistake to attempt conlanging if you're only fluent in one language? I'm learning two but I'm not there yet and my first attempt at conlanging failed horribly before I even considered putting it here, I do feel like I know a lot more about languages now but perhaps I should hold off for a bit. It takes a lot of time and dedication to create an entire language and I want it to be as good as possible.

Conlanging is all about trial and error. You're likely going to make a couple more sucky conlangs before you come out with a really good one, so stop fretting and just keep at it.

As for fluency, it's not really necessary. The more languages you're acquainted with, the less likely it will be that your conlang is just a cipher of your native language. Speaking with fluency is an excellent way to get acquainted with a language, but reading descriptive analyses is very useful, too. Having an explicit knowledge of the grammatical differences will enable you to make informed choices rather than just mindlessly reproducing another language's default constructions.

It's like what they say about writing: You want to be a good writer? Read. A lot. Then write. A lot. Most of it will be crap, so write all you can and then learn to edit so you can keep the good stuff and dump the rest.
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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby YngNghymru » 2011-07-08, 16:14

hashi wrote:The main reason for this is it is simply too difficult (particularly for any native of English) to possibly distinguish all of these sounds, and they'd probably end up merging with each other anyway.


You don't have to be able to pronounce your language yourself - as long as phonemes are generally salient enough to not merge, whether or not an English speaker finds it difficult to distinguish them is irrelevant.
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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby linguoboy » 2011-07-08, 16:25

YngNghymru wrote:You don't have to be able to pronounce your language yourself - as long as phonemes are generally salient enough to not merge, whether or not an English speaker finds it difficult to distinguish them is irrelevant.

Yeah, limiting yourself to phonemes that the average English speaker can distinguish seems like a recipe for creating exactly the sort of cyphers of English that I'm always so down on. In general, there's a certain progression among noob conlangers:

Stage 1: Thesis. Your conlangs are all cyphers of your native language. Maybe there'll be a crazy feature or two (e.g. objects first! no verbs!) but they won't be very well thought out and certainly won't take into account how actual natlangs with that feature work.

Stage 2: Antithesis. Your conlangs are all kitchen-sinks. Now you've learned about all sorts of crazy features and you want to use them all so that your language is nothing like English! So you have OVS order and ergativity and eight kinds of front rounded vowel and noun cases and noun classes and polypersonal agreement on verbs etc. etc. Not even you can keep track of them all and produce sensible sentences.

Stage 3: Synthesis. Eventually, you calm down and some balance is restored. Your conlangs are more focused: Here I'm going to make a language with serial verbs, maybe with an active-stative distinction rather than transitive-intransitive. Here I'm going to make a language with a huge sibilant inventory for a race of snake people. Not everyone gets here, of course, but it's the goal you should be aiming at.
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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby hashi » 2011-07-08, 22:49

linguoboy wrote:
YngNghymru wrote:You don't have to be able to pronounce your language yourself - as long as phonemes are generally salient enough to not merge, whether or not an English speaker finds it difficult to distinguish them is irrelevant.

Yeah, limiting yourself to phonemes that the average English speaker can distinguish seems like a recipe for creating exactly the sort of cyphers of English that I'm always so down on. In general, there's a certain progression among noob conlangers:


You're assuming English speakers can only distinguish English phonemes, which is not the case for most us who learn other languages. What I'm saying, is if the conlanger in question has so many sounds that he/she cannot distinguish between them, it won't be an entirely useful conlang in my opinion. Thus, using sounds that you can hear a difference between (any English speaker can easily learn the difference between /ʃ/, /ɕ/ and /ʂ/) would be a better place to start.

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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby linguoboy » 2011-07-09, 2:02

hashi wrote:What I'm saying, is if the conlanger in question has so many sounds that he/she cannot distinguish between them, it won't be an entirely useful conlang in my opinion.

"Useful" for what? When was the last time a conlang was "useful" for anything?
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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby hashi » 2011-07-09, 2:06

linguoboy wrote:
hashi wrote:What I'm saying, is if the conlanger in question has so many sounds that he/she cannot distinguish between them, it won't be an entirely useful conlang in my opinion.

"Useful" for what? When was the last time a conlang was "useful" for anything?

It depends what your definition of useful is. I find mine useful. I use it a lot. Therefore, it is useful.

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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby YngNghymru » 2011-07-09, 21:17

hashi wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
hashi wrote:What I'm saying, is if the conlanger in question has so many sounds that he/she cannot distinguish between them, it won't be an entirely useful conlang in my opinion.

"Useful" for what? When was the last time a conlang was "useful" for anything?

It depends what your definition of useful is. I find mine useful. I use it a lot. Therefore, it is useful.


Well if you want to have conversations with yourself in your conlang, I'm sure whether you can distinguish the sounds or not is important - although even then you'll know what you're trying to say, so you won't actually NEED to distinguish them. For those of us - the vast majority of the conlanging world, I'd imagine - who will only ever be pronouncing it out loud very carefully anyway and who will never have to listen to another person speaking the language, even being able to produce the sounds is of secondary concern.

You're assuming English speakers can only distinguish English phonemes, which is not the case for most us who learn other languages. What I'm saying, is if the conlanger in question has so many sounds that he/she cannot distinguish between them, it won't be an entirely useful conlang in my opinion. Thus, using sounds that you can hear a difference between (any English speaker can easily learn the difference between /ʃ/, /ɕ/ and /ʂ/) would be a better place to start.


Then why did you say an 'average English speaker'?
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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby hashi » 2011-07-09, 23:45

YngNghymru wrote:
hashi wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
hashi wrote:What I'm saying, is if the conlanger in question has so many sounds that he/she cannot distinguish between them, it won't be an entirely useful conlang in my opinion.

"Useful" for what? When was the last time a conlang was "useful" for anything?

It depends what your definition of useful is. I find mine useful. I use it a lot. Therefore, it is useful.


Well if you want to have conversations with yourself in your conlang, I'm sure whether you can distinguish the sounds or not is important - although even then you'll know what you're trying to say, so you won't actually NEED to distinguish them. For those of us - the vast majority of the conlanging world, I'd imagine - who will only ever be pronouncing it out loud very carefully anyway and who will never have to listen to another person speaking the language, even being able to produce the sounds is of secondary concern.


This is true, perhaps then its just me - for integrity purposes - who likes to know I'm pronouncing my own conlang correctly ;)

Then why did you say an 'average English speaker'?


Where?

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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby YngNghymru » 2011-07-10, 0:16

Oh, pardon me - you said:

The main reason for this is it is simply too difficult (particularly for any native of English) to possibly distinguish all of these sounds,


Which is just incorrect, although I accept I misquoted you.
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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby hashi » 2011-07-10, 0:22

YngNghymru wrote:Oh, pardon me - you said:

The main reason for this is it is simply too difficult (particularly for any native of English) to possibly distinguish all of these sounds,


Which is just incorrect, although I accept I misquoted you.


I was meaning natives who are monolingual in English and have no interest in possibly learning a thing about language and will naively and stubbornly pronounce other languages horribly. I'm not sure why people like this would conlang, but there are the occasional people who do (and usually end up with a cypher that makes you want to scratch your eyes out), but I just assume most people conlang with the idea of spreading their conlang in mind (I mean, why else would we all post grammatical instructions and show it off so much?). I should have made this clearer ;)

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Re: Common mistakes of conlangers that piss you off

Postby MillMaths » 2011-08-03, 8:32

hashi wrote:
  • And then we have the knobs who think that replacing English one letter for letter is conlanging. Someone slap them??

I'd call that codelanging – making up a "coded language".


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